Editor’s Note: This information has been updated to reflect the most recent State of the Real Estate Agent survey results conducted in the summer of 2019. For more information about the survey and methodology, download the free report.
Hopefully, as a successful real estate agent, your income will continue to increase throughout your career. That’s certainly the case for 57% of the real estate agents we surveyed who reported a rise in their earnings from 2017 to 2018. Some years are more fruitful — whether that’s because of the market or individual business tactics. A successful real estate agent knows how to put that money back into their business to keep earning more.
How a successful real estate agent earns more
We surveyed real estate agents across the country to find out what sets a successful real estate agent apart from a real estate agent who’s struggling. We found that both full-time and part-time real estate agents who report higher earnings have several everyday habits.
FREE Guide: Learn how to earn more with our 2019-2020 Real Estate Agent Income Guide.
1. Successful agents generate referrals from past clients
Agents who are earning top dollar are experts in generating business from referrals, earning an average of $76,000 more per year than agents who are failing in this area. The most important step in generating referrals from past clients is simply to ask for a referral. It’s also a good idea to stay in touch with past clients over the years.
Key takeaway: Keep in touch with your past clients! Send out a monthly email newsletter, follow them on social media, host a client appreciation happy hour. There is no shortage of ways to create a lasting impression on your clients.
2. Top agents keep learning
Another commonality top agents identified is that they stay updated on best practices via professional development. Agents who keep learning and are aware of the current trends earn about $50,000 more than those who don’t.
Key takeaway: There’s no shortage of ways to increase your real estate expertise. From online professional development courses to in-person conferences, there’s always something new to learn.
3. It pays to specialize
Choosing a niche within real estate can help define your career and your earning potential. Successful real estate agents don’t always start in the niche they want to move to, sometimes you have to get your foot in the door whatever way possible. But if you’ve experienced an especially fruitful year and have some extra money to invest in your business, you could use it to try a new niche.
Key takeaway: Are you happy where you are or do you want to try something else? If you’re going to start moving in a different direction, how can any extra money you earn now help you get there?
Keep investing in your business
If you’re serious about earning exponentially more over time, use financial increases as an opportunity to grow your business. While it might be tempting to use them for personal purchases, like a new car or a vacation, increasing your business now could possibly mean you experience more significant financial opportunities down the road.